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Choice-Supportive Misremembering: A New Taxonomy and Review
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology. University of Trieste, Italy.
Number of Authors: 4
2017 (English)In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 8, 2062Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Although the literature on the influence of memory on decisions is well developed, research on the effects of decision making on memory is rather sparse and scattered. Choice-supportive misremembering (i.e., misremembering choice-related information that boosts the chosen option and/or demotes the foregone options) has been observed in several studies and has the potential to affect future choices. Nonetheless, no attempt has been made to review the relevant literature, categorize the different types of choice-supportive misremembering observed, and critically appraise the existing evidence and proposed explanations. Thus, starting from a new theoretically motivated and empirically grounded taxonomy, we review the current research. Our taxonomy classifies choice-supportive misremembering into four conceptually distinct types: misattribution is when information is attributed to the wrong source, fact distortion when the facts are remembered in a distorted manner, false memory when items that were not part of the original decision scenarios are remembered as presented and, finally, selective forgetting is when information is selectively forgotten. After assessing the impact of various potentially moderating factors, we evaluate the evidence for each type of misremembering and conclude that the support for the phenomenon is solid in relation to misattribution when recognition memory is assessed, but significantly weaker for the other three types, and when other memory tests are used to assess memory. Finally, we review the cognitive and emotional explanations proposed for choice-supportive misremembering in the light of the available evidence and identify the main gaps in the current knowledge and the more promising avenues for future research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 8, 2062
Keyword [en]
decision making, episodic memory, choice-supportive memory, positivity bias, misattribution, fact distortion, false memory, selective forgetting
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-150925DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.02062ISI: 000416927100001PubMedID: 29255436OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-150925DiVA: diva2:1172170
Available from: 2018-01-09 Created: 2018-01-09 Last updated: 2018-01-14Bibliographically approved

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